Devasting Budget Cuts begin today, but is this just the beginning?by Susan Moreno on Jul. 01, 2010, under depression, Disability, General Mental Health, Health, healthcare, homeless, housing, Medicaid, mental illness, Politics, recovery, stigma
Over 12,000 low income Arizona residents loose much of their public mental health coverage today. Important coverage like non-generic medications, group and individual therapy, case management, housing and transportation assistance as just an example. Where are these people to go? What are they to do?
Some have struggled for years to find the right medication “cocktail” and now the rug is being pulled out from under them. They won’t be able to afford the newer, more effective drugs that can cost thousands of dollars a month and they won’t have a therapist or case manager monitoring their changes. Many are the “working poor” who make just a few too many dollars to qualify for the the state’s medicaid system, AHCCCS; also in jeopardy of loosing millions.
Yes, it looks like it could get even worse since Congress may not extend the states Medicaid assistance. Medicaid assistance from the federal government was voted against by the U.S. Senate last week. Without it, Arizona’s health care budget falls further into the red. In a letter to Arizona members of Congress, Governor Brewer complained that “(I)t has become clear that Congress does not have the will to assist states in addressing the very problem that it created.” Based on her combative attitude displayed recently all over the media, I will be surprised if any “Fed” will pay attention.
I guess you can tell I’m angry, but instead of complaining, I wish she would use the same “take charge” attitude towards our state’s health care system as she does toward our illegal immigration issues where no expense spared is the mantra. We’re soon to be using our local city and state law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws. Plus, there always seems to be more money to build more prisons to house the additional “illegal immigrants.” What about using money to house and treat some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens?
The Obama administration launched a new health care reform website yesterday that provides information to the public on “the full range of public and private health insurance plans” that fits their specific circumstances. Mandated by the health reform law, the site will show users how their options “will change in coming years” as the law takes effect. – The Progress Report, July 1, 2010